FRODO: Remind me again why we're doing this?
THIA: To cheer up Adrienne. And as a warm-up.
FRODO: a warm-up. Does that mean what I think it means?
SAM: Excuse me, ma'am, but are you saying there's more waiting?
[THIA and KRISTEN exchange looks. That's enough for the hobbits: they duck and run. Unfortunately, the doors slam closed, a la Saruman, before they get to them, and the fanfic starts.]

For the Love of a Dream

THIA: Ding! Points deducted for use of the word 'dream' in the title.
SAM, weakly: There are rules?
KRISTEN: Yup. Titles: no 'dream', no quotes from boy-band songs, no abuse of flowers or trees...
GIMLI: Even in tales of Elves?
THIA: Especially in tales of Elves. No mention of stars allowed, either.
KRISTEN: Or the moon.
GIMLI: Why don't we just make it a blanket definition and not allow any allusions to any heavenly bodies whatsoever?
[Acquiescent nods from EVERYONE.]

by Euryale smart-ass comments at this time. At least, I think that's the name of a Greek demi-goddess, but I don't recall of what. Kristen?
KRISTEN, in bow-tie, suspenders, and super-thick glasses, reading from a large dusty tome: Euryale, literally "far-roaming"-
SAM, under his breath: Not far enough.
KRISTEN: -was one of the three Gorgons, monstrous creatures of Greek mythology whose appearance could turn anyone who laid eyes upon it to stone.
LEGOLAS, peering over KRISTEN'S shoulder at the book: Does the same principle apply to Gorgon-written fic?
THIA: No, in this case your brain only feels as though it's been turned to stone.

Author's Website:

FRODO: If it's blank, does that mean she hasn't written anything else?
SAM: We can hope, sir.
THIA: Pray, even.

Category: Angst
Characters: Sam Merry

THIA: Speaking of which, where is Merry?
KRISTEN: Blessed Lands edition, remember.
FRODO: What?
THIA: Never mind.

Warnings: No Happy Ending

SAM: Says who? If it doesn't end with me lying with Master Merry, that's a very happy ending indeed.
[Nods of agreement all around.]

Rating: PG

[Cheers from all assembled.]

Summary: Merry confesses a longstanding crush

FRODO: I thought Pippin knew.
GIMLI: I thought Pippin confessed first.
LEGOLAS: And I was under the impression they did it simultaneously.
KRISTEN's ears perk up: Did what simultaneously?
THIA: What have I told you two about teasing her like that?

Disclaimer: *Bows down at the shrine of J-double-R* Please do not smite me down with a thunderbolt out of the west for borrowing your characters! I promise I will give them back, and none the worse for the wear!

THIA: For very loose definitions of 'none the worse.'
FRODO: Legolas, do you remember if any of the Valar actually use thunderbolts for, er, much of anything?
LEGOLAS: They prefer high-voltage cattle prods.
KRISTEN: Six of one, half-dozen of the other, really.

The only profit I glean from them is mindcandy.

KRISTEN: ...of the sort you shouldn't accept from strangers. Or relatives. Or anyone.

Feedback: oh, please, please!

THIA: If you insist, dear. But don't say we didn't warn you.

Story Notes:

SAM: At least that was quickly over wi--

Author: Euryale
Title: For the Love of a Dream
Pairing: S/M

THIA: There are entirely too many places I could take that.
[KRISTEN bites hard into her own palm.]

Category: Hobbit angst, NHE

LEGOLAS: The hobbits get their own angst category?
THIA: ...because it's so much more pitiful than regular angst?
THIA: Because you're sh -- you know what? Never mind.

Summary: Merry confesses a longstanding crush Why, dear God, why?

SAM: Just what I was wondering.

Because I said so.

KRISTEN: Not good enough, dear. Where's that smiting?
[ALL look up expectantly. Nothing happens. Groans of disappointment and general mutterings about cruel, indifferent omnipotent beings.]

And, nobody ever writes about Merry.

[ALL laugh.]
GIMLI: They don't?
KRISTEN: I think she must've missed The History Of Us.
FRODO: Just for starters.

Hes the quiet type gotta wonder what-alls going on in there.

FRODO: Merry? Quiet?

Rating: PG

[Another general cheer.]

Disclaimer: *Bows down at the shrine of J-double-R* Please do not smite me down with a thunderbolt out of the west for borrowing your characters!

KRISTEN: Ha, but she said nothing about high-voltage cattle prods out of the East.

I promise I will give them back, and none the worse for the wear! The only profit I glean from them is mindcandy.

THIA: Oh, sure, I've heard that before.
FRODO: Not two minutes ago, as a matter of fact.

Archiving: Yeah, whatever. Just let me know.

THIA: You can tell she cares so much.

Feedback: Oh, please!

KRISTEN: (as Isildur) No.

KRISTEN: (makes note for smiting purposes)

Note: According to the chronology in appendix B, I kinda fudged dates by about a week, I know, but in the text, the meeting with the elves and the passage into the west really seems to happen all at once so Im going to pretend that it does.

[SAM mutters things under his breath about liking her to endure a week like that, some day.]


FRODO: What's this?
THIA: A stick of some kind, I suppose. Or maybe a string.
LEGOLAS: Not quite long enough to tie up the author, alas.
GIMLI: We could bind her wrists together and prevent her from writing ever again...
[ALL share conspiratory looks.]

Sam had seemed genuinely glad to see him, and that lifted Merrys heart a bit.

KRISTEN: But not, apparently, the apostrophes into place.
THIA: We noticed. She's lacking in em-dashes, too.
FRODO: Wait a minute. Are we making fun of the author for not double-checking her story and eliminating all the mechanical problems?
KRISTEN and THIA together: Yes.
FRODO: Oh, all right then. Just checking.

It had been years since hed been to Hobbiton, having been far too occupied with his duties up in Buckland to keep a good eye on his friend.

FRODO: Not to mention with tupping Pippin, which was a full-time job all in itself.

Hed missed good old Sam. A lot.

THIA: Does anyone else hear the ominous music?
KRISTEN: A funeral dirge, I distinctly heard a funeral dirge.

Evenings by the fire with a mug of beer reliving old times, making plans for new.

SAM: Don't believe I had any old times with Mr. Merry. Except the War of the Ring, and those aren't the sort of times I'd care to relive.
THIA: Sam, you're applying logic to the fanfic again. I'll have to ask you to stop.

He had been so afraid that Sam would shrivel up inside, withdraw from the world and leave them before his time as Frodo had done.

THIA: And since he knew so much about what Frodo had been through...
SAM: 'Shrivel up'? Either Mr. Merry's speculating about things he's no business thinking about, or else I'm some sort of odd raisin.
FRODO: Either you are or I am. Or else maybe Merry just has a raisin fetish I didn't know about.

It was long since hed had any hope,

KRISTEN: And even longer since he'd quoted Faramir.
FRODO: I’m beginning to wonder what those two talked about in the House of Healing.
THIA: Well, you know how it is. They couldn’t talk about only Eowyn. Even if she is beautiful and dangerous and good with a sword and the daughter of a line of kings.
KRISTEN: Psst – your crush is showing.
THIA: Um. Ooops?

but he felt that he had to hold on to what he could of Sam for as long as possible.

THIA: Despite the fact that Sam kicked and screamed and demanded his liver back.
LEGOLAS: Thank you for that mental image.

Sam had seemed glad, but that was three days ago now and the shadows had been growing on his brow ever since.

THIA: Get out the weed-whacker.
LEGOLAS: Shouldn't that be the shadow-whacker?
SAM: I don't let shadows grow in my garden, thank you.

Rosie had taken the younger children to visit Elanor and Fastred over in Westmarch and he and Sam had spent two days now in the empty halls of Bag-end, staring at each other across the growing silence.

FRODO: ...previously known as 'the dining room table.'

Merry didnt think he could take much more of this.

SAM, muttered: Neither can I.
GIMLI: Oh, come - the story's hardly started!
THIA: You're not helping, Gimli.

Sams drawn expression and increasing pallor called to him to take Sam in his arms and brush all the lines of care away.

FRODO: Sam himself seemed a bit perturbed by his talkative attributes, but that was a minor thing.
KRISTEN: And here I was just going to make a joke about Merry the artist. [Silence.] You know, 'drawn expression', 'brush the lines of care'... [More silence. EVERYONE looks at KRISTEN.] Okay, never mind.

But he knew he wouldnt do it.

SAM: Thank Eru.
LEGOLAS: It's still only the first page, Sam.
SAM: I'll take what breaks I can get.

That night they sat as they were wont to do in soft chairs before the fire, ale in hand, and Merry watched the firelight dance off of Sams profile in a hypnotic rhythm.

[KRISTEN starts humming belly-dancing music]

Sam stared into the fire. He didnt move.

KRISTEN: Oh, no, wait, my mistake. It really was hypnotic.
THIA, with a bad Bela Lugosi accent: Look into my are getting sleepy...veerrry sleepy...
FRODO: So sleepy that this whole thing turns out to be a dream?
LEGOLAS: No, that's a different story too.[1]

Merry watched him intently.

GIMLI: Because he really had nothing better to do.
THIA: It's that hypnotic fire-dance, I'm telling you.
SAM: So maybe they both dreamed it?

All of a sudden, Sam spoke.

SAM, stubbornly: Sleep-talking.

"Its his birthday, you know."

GIMLI: Whose birthday?
FRODO: I think we're supposed to deduce it's mine -- 'who else would Sam be talking about' sort of thing.
SAM, desparately: It might not be. It might be -- Pippin's!
THIA: You're reaching for it, Sam.

"Yeah, I know."

THIA: Thus proving that Merry is capable of looking at a calendar every so often. Aren't we proud of him?

"Fifty years ago today, Bilbo took off and left him the ring; thirty three years since we went east; thirty two since we returned, and" he paused a long moment. "thirty years to the minute since he went west."

FRODO, counting on his fingers: Wait a minute, is that accurate?
SAM: What, besides the bit that she admitted she was making up?
FRODO: Yes, besides that. If it had really been twenty years exactly, you'd think that someone would have said something.
KRISTEN, consulting another tome, this one rather worn but not at all dusty: No, looks like she's right. Tolkien must've missed that bit.
GIMLI: Who's Tolkien?
THIA: Never mind.

Sam sighed raggedly and took a long draught of his beer.

THIA:...hopefully not at the exact same time.

Something of the despair in that sigh, something which matched his own grief for things that never were, emboldened Merrys heart.

KRISTEN: Not to mention other bits of him.
SAM: That was not an image I wanted.
THIA: Besides, I never knew Merry to need anything to make him bolder. Except maybe several pints of ale. How long have these two been drinking again?
FRODO: Long enough to drift out of character.

"I never would have left you."

SAM: Ballocks. You're the Master of Buckland, with an obligation to your family.
FRODO: Er, Sam, technically I was the Master of Bag End, with an obligation too.
SAM: You were adopted, sir. No great marvel if you adopted some young Baggins yourself.
THIA: Didn't I read a Legolas/Gimli along those lines?[2]
LEGOLAS and GIMLI together: What?
KRISTEN: A-hem. No distracting the riffers with other stories. We've got this one to finish.

The silence was deafening as Sam registered the import of these words.

SAM, as himself: "Mr. Merry's drunk too much again."

"Mer" Merry cut him off.

GIMLI: Sounds like the author's had a bit much herself. Or else just has a stammer.
THIA: Or else just forgot to put in a paragraph break, or something else to indicate that Merry's not the one who says that.
FRODO: Along with all the left-out apostrophes and em-dashes?

"I never would have left you." Said Merry, quite evenly. "Not for the pain of any wound, not for the hope of any peace. Did he know? Could he have known? And if he did, did he care? Was he still capable of that at the end?"

FRODO, through his teeth: Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
SAM, taking Frodo into his arms: There, there, Mr. Frodo.
LEGOLAS: Does she really think Sam would have been much comforted by Frodo's suffering?
KRISTEN: Given how much she apparently likes pointless angst? Yeah, probably.

Sams mouth hung open and the tears of many years of frustration and rage burned in Merrys eyes.

GIMLI: Rage at whom?
THIA: The author, for making him pretend he's not madly in love with Pippin.

"Youre pining away for a ghost!

LEGOLAS: No, that's a different story still.
THIA: Actually, a couple different stories.[3]
KRISTEN, singing: I'm in love with your ghost...
[GIMLI and LEGOLAS, who have both been overexposed to KRISTEN'S singing clamp hands tightly over her mouth. KRISTEN does not look too put-out by this.]

You do realize that, dont you?

SAM: No.

The love of a dream!

KRISTEN: So you're implying...what, exactly? That Sam never had a chance with Frodo?
THIA: I was just going to make a dirty comment about 'what kind of dream', but I think I'll just be quiet now.

Open your eyes to the real world! Waking life has always been within your reach, but you sit dazzled and blinded by hopeless reveries! Open your eyes to life, Sam!"

SAM: Is this where I point out that I was married, had plenty of work, and wasn't hardly sitting still?
THIA: No, this is where we make snide comments about Merry being a philosopher. Not.
KRISTEN: 'Choose Life.'
FRODO: Oh, no.
THIA: What's wrong with quoting 'Trainspotting'?
LEGOLAS: It's a slippery slope. It starts with a simple Trainspotting quote, and the next thing we know you've got Ewan MacGregor clones all over the place.
KRISTEN: ...and this is a problem, how?
FRODO: And Kristen quoted Velvet Goldmine a ways back, Brian Slade to be exact, and didn't think we'd notice. We'll have to bring out the big weapons for a second offense.
THIA, raising one eyebrow: The 'big weapons' are what exactly?
[FRODO and LEGOLAS exchange glances, then both of them stand up and begin undoing their shirts.]

With this, Merry went to Sam and kissed him hungrily.

[Absolutely no one is paying attention to the story. SAM and GIMLI are staring at their respective lovers: GIMLI looks like he's about to stand up and sweep LEGOLAS off his feet, and SAM has a death grip on his seat as if to keep himself from doing just that. THIA and KRISTEN don't know where to look.]

Every ounce of Merrys pent up passion poured through this kiss, washing in great waves over Sam.

KRISTEN, eyes drifting to the screen for a minute: Um, guys? Story?
SAM, thoroughly preoccupied: Story?
LEGOLAS: I don't know. Do we have a deal?
THIA, weakly: Deal?
FRODO: No more Ewan MacGregor jokes. Or quotes from the annoying central figure of a glamrock movie.
THIA, still weakly -- FRODO's lost his shirt and LEGOLAS isn't far behind: Who? Huh?
LEGOLAS, satisfied: I think we've made our point. [He and FRODO go back to their respective lovers. LEGOLAS twines himself around GIMLI, while FRODO goes for the direct approach and just sits on SAM's lap.]
KRISTEN: Hey, I didn't -- ah, heck with it. Rewind!

With this, Merry went to Sam and kissed him hungrily. Every ounce of Merrys pent up passion poured through this kiss, washing in great waves over Sam.

FRODO: How many ounces does it take to make a wave?
GIMLI, sounding rather raspy -- LEGOLAS is nuzzling his ear: Now we know what happened to the apostrophes and em-dashes -- they were all washed away.

Sam was stunned a moment, barely comprehending what was happening.

SAM, finally looking away from FRODO: You have that right.

Then he found himself responding to the kiss, his lips melted in to it, his breath came up short and he raised a hand to Merrys chest.

THIA, as Sam: 'I'm melting, I'm melting!'
SAM, indignant: I'm not made of sugar, to melt in a bit of spit.
THIA: ...Frodo, if you don't take the chance to say something sweet here, I'll never forgive you.
FRODO, with a soft chuckle: Far ahead of you.
LEGOLAS: And here I was only going to be condescending about Rosie's apparent kissing skills. Or lack thereof.

In a flash of images, memories true and imagined, his mind went dark and brusquely he pushed Merry away.

KRISTEN: As opposed to pushing Merry away politely, of course.
THIA: Maybe the bulb on his politeness burnt out at the same time as his memory-bulb.
SAM: Memory-bulb?
THIA: Well, how else do you explain it? A flash and then darkness -- sounds like a bulb burning out to me.

"I cant do this." He said.

KRISTEN, as Sam: Well, actually I can. I just don't want to.

"Why not? For him?

SAM: Does this Merry even remember I'm married?
FRODO: Off-hand, I'm guessing not.
LEGOLAS: Or else the author just thought it read better for Sam to be completely incapable of getting over the fact that Frodo had to leave.
FRODO: Well, it is a common trope. Remember 'Never More Than Dreaming'?
THIA: Oi! What have we said about citing other stories before we're done with this one?

Hes gone, Sam. He was never really there.

SAM, squeezing FRODO on his lap: Could've fooled me.

Not for you, not for any of us. He was an instrument of the powers that be and that is all."

FRODO: She's not only forgotten your Rosie, I think she forgot that I wasn't some raw tweenager without any personality to call my own.
KRISTEN: Writer seems to be superimposing herself on you, Frodo-lad.
FRODO: Oy! You take that back!
GIMLI: Wasn't Meriadoc one of your friends, back in your Shire?
FRODO: One of my closest. I suppose I can't expect any better from someone who doesn't even remember Pippin.

"For him, for his memory, for Rosie, for the children I just cant do this."

KRISTEN: Thank you. I wondered when Rosie would make an appearance again.

Merry bit back his anger, his disappointment, his tears.

THIA: Oh, cry me a river. You knew he was married when you got here. Now go tup Pippin like a good Merry.

His arms dropped to his sides and he sighed.

SAM: Where were his arms before now?
THIA, scanning back through the story: know what? I have no idea.
LEGOLAS: Bets on whether the author knew?
[KRISTEN rummages around for her purse]
THIA: No bet. This is the same woman who couldn't remember to check her formatting, after all.
[KRISTEN pretends she wasn't doing anything]

"I think I should go."

SAM: Best idea I've heard all story.

"I think you should." Said Sam quietly.

KRISTEN: Wait, this is new -- we've got Random Capitalization!
THIA: Plus the ever-popular 'comma? What do you mean, I need a comma there rather than a period?'
KRISTEN: Do you think the two may perchance be linked?
LEGOLAS: You two are having entirely too much fun with this.
THIA: We don't have cable...
KRISTEN: we have to make our own fun.
FRODO: You have cable, Kristen.
KRISTEN: Logic is not welcome here. Anyway, don't you have better things to do than contradict me? [She looks pointedly at SAM.]

"I dont want you to fade away, Sam. There is still life for you in this world."

[SAM mutters something, not quite indecipherable, that seems to translate to thirteen children.]
FRODO, with a sigh: Is there any particular reason why nobody listened to me?
THIA: Which time?
FRODO: Talking to Sam, on the road to the Gray Havens. Besides the 'you may follow me someday'.

Sam said nothing, but stared into the dying embers of the fire.

KRISTEN: And we're right back to the hypnotic fire again.
SAM: See, I told you, it was all a dream. [He nuzzles FRODO'S neck.]

Merry gathered his cloak and went to the door. He turned on the threshold as if to say something more, but no words came. He nodded absently and, turning, walked out into the misty night.

SAM, perking up: Is that it? Are we done?
THIA: Well, except for minor practical concerns, like what Rosie thought when she got back and Merry wasn't there any more, and Sam was sitting there in a trance in front of the fire.
GIMLI: I thought you said not to apply logic to the fanfic.


FRODO: Good. Let's go. [He starts to get up, tugging SAM along by the, er, wrist. He still isn't wearing his shirt.]
KRISTEN: Not yet. There's still the author's notes to get through.
LEGOLAS: I thought we saw those already.


[ALL scream.]
THIA: Ahhhhh! The author got loose!


[FRODO, with a groan: Oh, no. [He sits down again on SAM's lap, and wriggles a bit as if to make himself comfortable. SAM's eyes glaze over.]

I would like to acknowledge the Magnificent Anne Ellis whose "And I wouldn't have left you to cry over it all alone."

THIA: Now, see, that actually sounds like something worth reading. Anyone know what story it's from?
LEGOLAS, fondling Gimli's hair: No idea. You said not to bring in other stories.
THIA: I should've kept my damn mouth shut.[4]

I shamelessly stole and corrupted to my own nefarious hobbit-fancying purposes when it attacked me in plot-bunny form.

KRISTEN: You mean plot-bunnies aren't already corrupt?
THIA: I guess not, but we could ask them -- um, guys? Frodo? I don't have my notebook, stop that!

(Its got teeth about it can leap about LOOK AT THE BONES!)

KRISTEN: Obligatory Monty Python reference, yes.
[THIA, still watching FRODO and SAM, only whimpers. FRODO's moved so he's straddling SAM now, and is working at Sam's buttons. He's murmuring something into SAM'S mouth.]

If you still exist in fanfic-land, Anne, you are beyond fabulous and should write more. The End.

KRISTEN: 'But if you 'inspirt' any more stories like this one, we'll have to hunt you down and hogtie you. Thank you.'


KRISTEN: I think that means we're actually done, guys...guys? Oh, dear. Legolas, Gimli, your room is that way, please wait for the cameras to start rolling., I'll be right back with cold water and a notebook. And popcorn.


[1] Reference is to ‘Never More Than Dreaming’, which is quite a good story despite having ‘dreaming’ in the title.
[2] Yes, I did. The story’s here.
[3] This one’s actually debatable – although you can really pick a story, any story, wherein Frodo’s crossed the Sea and Sam’s mooning over him.
[4] If anyone can point me to the story in question, I’ll be very grateful.

– end –

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